Posts Tagged ‘Amfleet equipment’

Amtrak Sets Deal to Buy New Trainsets

July 8, 2021

Amtrak will spend billions to buy new trainsets from Siemens Mobility that will replace Amfleet I equipment in the Northeast Corridor and state-supported corridor trains.

How much the deal is worth depends on whose news release you read. Siemens said the deal is worth $3.4 billion while Amtrak put it at $7.3 billion.

The Amtrak news release indicated that the contract also covers parts and service, facilities upgrades and other related expenses. The deal has an option for up to 140 additional trainsets and related maintenance agreements.

Siemens characterized the contract as its largest North American order in its history.

Back in April Amtrak had announced it had chosen Siemens to build replacement equipment for its corridor trains.

Corridor trains expected to get the new equipment include the Adirondack, Carolinian, Amtrak Cascades, Downeaster, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Maple Leaf, Hartford Line and Valley Flyer, Pennsylvanian, Vermonter and Virginia services.

The long-distance Palmetto between New York and Savannah, Georgia, also will receive the new trainsets.

Amtrak said the Siemens order will include dual-power and battery hybrid trains, therefore ending locomotive changes in Washington and New Haven, Connecticut.

Also displaced by the new equipment will be dual-mode locomotives now used on Empire Corridor trains.

The announcement did not say how the order is to be divided between dual-mode and hybrid equipment.

Trains will have individual power outlets and USB ports, onboard WiFi, a digital seat reservation system, and trip information and digital navigation displays.

Cars will have ADA accessible restrooms, vestibules, and food service cars, wheelchair lifts, and inductive hearing loops.

Few other details about the makeup of the trainsets were provided other than saying they will have predictive maintenance technology and real-time digital monitoring

Siemens plans to build the trainsets in Sacramento, California, with the first deliveries being made in 2024. Deliveries will be completed in 2030.

An Amtrak Two for Tuesday

June 1, 2021

Amtrak’s Cardinal is used to ferry equipment to and from the Beech Grove shops in Indianapolis. Typically, equipment goes north on Monday and south on Saturday.

The usual practice is to add the equipment bound for Chicago to the front of the train at Indianapolis Union Station, which has the effect of creating two trains in one.

Monday’s westbound No. 51 has this double look as seen in the images above. The ferry section added in Indy is on the front of the train followed by the passenger section.

Note also that the ferry section has two P42DC locomotives and two Viewliner baggage cars, which is in keeping with the theme of this post of two for Tuesday. The ferry section also includes a lone Superliner coach.

The passenger section has its customary consist of three Amfleet II coaches, an Amfleet food service car, a Viewliner sleeping car and a Viewliner baggage-dorm.

The Cardinal is shown passing through Brownsburg, Indiana, on the CSX Crawfordsville Subdivision.

2 For Amtrak’s 50th Anniversary

May 3, 2021

I wanted to get out and photograph Amtrak on its 50th anniversary day last Saturday. I began my quest by setting next to the CSX Monon Subdivision south of Linden, Indiana, to capture the westbound Cardinal.

No. 51 was right on the money about 10 minutes past 5, having made a station stop, in Crawfordsville about 12 minutes earlier. It was about a half-hour after sunrise.

Next I motored over to east central Illinois to get the northbound Saluki, a corridor train funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation that originates in Carbondale and travels to Chicago.

No. 390 is shown above taking a signal at Humboldt, Illinois. It, too, was running on time.

None of the equipment seen in these photographs existed in 1971 and most of it had not been created yet as a concept.

The Amfleet coaches and food service car of the Cardinal come closest because Amfleet equipment was based on the design of the Budd Metroliners of the 1960s. Superliner equipment was inspired by the Hi-Level cars of the Santa Fe.

In 1971 EMD E and F units with a handful of passenger equipped geeps, U boats and SDs were the common motive power. It all wore the markings and liveries of its owners.

The Saluki does not normally operate with Superliner equipment, but has since Amtrak reduced the frequency of most long-distance trains last year to tri-weekly.

Starting May 24 Amtrak plans to begin to restore daily service to most long-distance trains — the Cardinal and Sunset Limited are exceptions — so the Superliners now on the Saluki probably will be replaced with Horizon and Amfleet equipment.

But not for long as Amtrak has begun taking delivery of and testing the new Siemens Venture cars and they are expected to begin revenue service later this year.

The long distance trains are also slated to begin receiving Charger locomotives similar to the SC-44 seen above pullking the Saluki albeit with a difference livery.

With Amtrak things are always changing even if it doesn’t always appear that way at first glance.

Early One Saturday Morning

August 13, 2020

It’s a sunny early Saturday morning in western Indiana. Amtrak’s westbound Cardinal was on time leaving Crawfordsville, but has lost about 12 minutes due to a CSX work zone.

Train 51 has its usual consist of a P42DC, two Amfleet II coaches, an Amfleet food service car, Viewliner sleeper and Viewliner baggage-dorm car bringing up the rear.

The image was made from the U.S. Route 231 overpass just south of Linden.

The track No. 51 is traveling is the CSX Monon Subdivision, named for its former operator.

Early Generation Pennsylvanian

August 7, 2020

Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian has had a long and colorful history. It began on April 27, 1980, as a Pittsburgh-Philadelphia train funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

It was intended to replace, in part, the National Limited, which had been discontinued on Oct. 1, 1979, a move that ended intercity rail passenger service to Columbus and Dayton.

Extended to New York in October 1983, Nos. 46 and 47 got off to a slow start from a ridership perspective. But it took off and by 1994 had become part of Amtrak’s basic network.

This image was made near Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on June 27, 1988.

The Pennsylvanian looked then like any other eastern corridor service train pulled by an F40PH with a string of Amfleet coaches and a cafe car trailing.

The photographer was with Paul Woodring when he made this image. They were on their way back to Ohio after a weekend on the Blue Mountain & Reading chasing a steam locomotive.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Flapping Its Wings Westbound

June 1, 2020

Amtrak’s Chicago-bound Cardinal is on the money as it cruises northbound on the former Monon route about 10 miles north of Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Train No. 51, which operates here on Monday, Thursday and Saturday morning has two Amfleet II coaches, two Amfleet food service cars, a Viewliner sleeper and a Viewliner baggage dorm car.

It was the first time I’d seen, let along photographed, a Viewliner dorm-bag.

The train is on CSX tracks that in this location run next to Old U.S. Route 231.

A cloud shelf that was breaking up led to some dramatic light and sky conditions for this image.

Private Owners Buys 3 Amfleet Cars

May 16, 2020

Three Amfleet cars have been purchased by excursion operator Rail Excursion Management Company.

The two coaches and a café car are the first Amfleet cars to be acquired by a private owner.

The Budd Company built 642 Amfleet cars between 1975 and 1983, using a design that was pioneered by the Metroliners.

The initial order of 492 cars was finished in 1977. Amfleet equipment continues to be widely used by corridor service trains in the East and Midwest.

Some second generation Amfleet cars designed to be used on long-distance trains and can be found on the Lake Shore Limited, Crescent, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star and Cardinal.

Railexco said its Amfleet cars will be used by a Midwest tourist railroad that it did not identify.

Pennsylvanian Loses Amfleet II Coaches; Capitol Limited Consist Cut by 1 Sleeper, 1 Coach For The Winter

January 15, 2020

An online report indicates that Amfleet II coaches have been removed from the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian and replaced with Amfleet I cars.

The equipment change may have been motivated by a bid to increase capacity because Amfleet I coaches have 12 additional seats per car.

At times the Pennsylvanian has experienced standing room only conditions between Harrisburg and Philadelphia on weekends.

The typical Pennsylvanian consist until this week had been a business class car, Amfleet cafe car and lounge, three Amfleet II coaches and one Amfleet I coach. The train also has a Viewliner baggage car.

Reports also indicate that the Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited is operating with its winter consist of one crew car, one sleeper, Cross Country Cafe for sleeper class passengers, Sightseer Lounge, two coaches and a Viewliner baggage car.

The crew cars has sleeping accommodations available for sale to the public.

Motive power can be one P42DC, but some recent sightings have shown two locomotives assigned to Nos. 29 and 30.

One online report from a passenger who rode on No. 30 earlier this month said the train was oversold leaving Chicago.

The report quoted two Amtrak onboard employees as saying that overselling had happened before and that the train is often sold out between Chicago and Pittsburgh.

The normal consist for the Capitol includes another sleeper and coach.

The online reports indicated that a computer glitch had allowed some passengers to buy sleeper space in the car that was dropped for the winter.

Amtrak typically reduces the consist of Nos. 29 and 30 in January as well as those of other long-distance Superliner-equipped trains.

The Cleveland Nighttime Shuffle

January 8, 2020

It’s 0 dark 30 at the Cleveland Amtrak station and passengers are coming and going from the eastbound Lake Shore Limited. I set my camera on a tripod and captured this seen with a telephoto lens.

The view is looking primarily at the Amfleet II coaches. No. 48 still carried a Heritage Fleet dining car and crew dorm in those days.

This image was made on Aug. 22, 1998, so the Heritage Fleet dining car that is partly visible is no longer assigned to Nos. 48 and 49.

But coach passengers are still riding in Amfleet II coaches as seen here.

That 70s Look in Durand

October 22, 2019

Amtrak’s Blue Water has ground to a stop in Durand, Michigan, right on the money. Actually, Train 365 arrived a little early.

The daily boarding ritual that plays out countless times every day in cities and towns or all sizes is underway.

This image was made in July 2019, but there are two throwbacks to the 1970s.

The station sign in the foreground was hung in the 1970s and Amfleet coaches were built in that era.

Amtrak is undertaking a process of replacing its Amfleet fleet and maybe someday it will hang a new sign in Durand.

But for now that 70s look continues on Amtrak if you pay attention to it.